In business, both internal communication within your company and external communication with your customers are central to customer success. When communication is clear, concise and direct, everyone wins. But in crucial handoff times, when communication is the most important, businesses often miss the mark.

Research shows that 85% of consumers churn because of poor service. However, great communication, especially during the first few steps of the onboarding process, is at the heart of prevention: 67% of customer churn could be avoided if the business resolved the customer’s issue during their first interaction.

The illusion of communication.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

For any business, the illusion that effective communication has occurred can be both toxic and tragic, leading to high churn rates and lost opportunities. If you’re confident that this could never be your company, you may want to think again.

A Bain & Company survey revealed that while 80 percent of companies believe they are delivering “superior experiences” to their customers, only 8 percent of customers agree with this sentiment. This staggering chasm between company and customer perceptions exposes a harsh but true reality that the experience for the customer might not be as good as companies imagine and often times this can be the result of ineffective communication.

How to address the communication illusion.

First, review your external communications, from the first touchpoint your customers have with your product and brand to their annual renewal emails. Ensuring a consistent message at each stage of the process is critical to providing those promised “superior experiences” for your customers.

Next, look inward. Internal communication often degrades during the handoffs from sales to customer onboarding and customer success (think of it like a bad game of telephone or one of those interminable forwarded email chains). Mapping out these processes and identifying breakdown scenarios will help support more consistent customer communication and potentially give insight into where new systems are needed.

Optimize your communication systems.

At TaskRay, we’re deeply invested in key customer success principles. When all eyes are on you to successfully onboard a customer, communication is crucial. One of the primary questions we receive about how to nail the handoffs is, “How do you do that at TaskRay?”. And the simple answer is, we drink our own Kool-Aid. We regularly review our own communications and how we’re nailing (or missing) the handoffs.

Interested in learning more? Download our free eBook at taskray.com/handoffs and stay tuned for Part 3 of this series on ‘Setting Your Processes Up For Success